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Ringtones Ring Up Revenue

Techstination feature for Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Ringtones ring up revenue. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Ringtones for cell phones have become a global multibillion dollar industry. Among the companies cashing in…is InfoSpace. One if its latest deals….allows Cingular customers to download ringtones from songs performed on American Idol within hours of when they are performed. InfoSpace CEO Jim Voelker…

"The audience response has been strong." Can you talk numbers at all? "We can't talk numbers. The American Idol people are pretty stringent. But it's definitely exceeded the expectations. And I think what we're finding too is there's good ways to market that." How would you characterize the ringtone business overall today? "You know it does continue to grow, Fred, as people get new handsets, they get introduced to it. We're starting to see a little bit of a stretch of the demographic. Actually American Idol's a good example of that. It's real pop music. Certainly hip hop and urban music has dominated the ringtone market for the last couple of years. But as we start to stretch the demographic and get people used to it, we think there's plenty of growth left. And again, for us, we've seen it grow from a space… that did less than a quarter of a million downloads in 2003 to where we did 160 million last year. So we think there's plenty of growth left."

InfoSpace CEO Jim Voelker. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.